Financial literacy is equivalent to health, wealth, security, and happiness. Statistically speaking, Black women are more likely to be the proverbial breadwinners than women of any other race. What's more, the Institute for Women's Policy reports that three in four Black women file as the "head of household" with the Internal Revenue Service. But financial literacy is, in a way, one that requires mindful practice, daily execution, and a fortified education. So how do you even get started on the path to financial freedom?
In honor of April being Financial Literacy Month, we've come up with this handy list of ten books to read on your financial literacy journey.
Hustle Away Debt: Eliminate Debt by Making More Money by David Carlson
Carlson is best known as the founder of the popular millennial financial blog, Young Adult Money. He knows better than anyone that there are plenty of budding entrepreneurs out there. Unsurprisingly, most of the 2.5 million Black-owned businesses are owned by Black women, ranging in age from 35 to 54. But, in Hustle Away Debt, Carlson extolls the virtues of eliminating your debt by taking on side hustles and turning your passion into a paycheck.
Mud 2 Millions: Ayesha Selden's 7 Step Wealth Cheat Codes by Ayesha Selden
Ayesha Selden is best known as "Wealth Twitter's Favorite Auntie," and her dedication to Black wealth empowerment is second-to-none. Raised by a single mother in South Philly, Selden invested just $67,000 into her first real estate purchase and had a million-dollar real estate and investment portfolio by her 30th birthday. Selden, who currently works as a private wealth advisor, teaches you how to replicate her success in her book Mud 2 Millions. And it's a lot easier than you think!
Zero Debt: The Ultimate Guide to Financial Freedom (3rd Edition) by Lynnette Khalfani-Cox
When she was younger, Khalfani-Cox had more than $100,000 in credit card debt. However, she managed to pay the debt entirely off without filing for bankruptcy or consolidating her debts. She paid it off bit by bit, and though it took her three years to become entirely debt-free, she learned valuable lessons along the way. In Zero Debt, she passes those lessons on to her readers, and in addition to providing a 31-day action plan, Zero Debt also offers tips and tricks for improving your credit using best practices.
Money Talks: The Ultimate Couple's Guide to Communicating About Money by Talaat and Tai McNeely
If you're boo'd up or trying to be, being smart about your money as a couple is important to your partnership's survival. That's where Talaat and Tai McNeely's Money Talks comes into play. Besides providing actionable steps to take toward financial freedom, it also takes a common-sense approach to communicating about money as a couple. And we all know how tense those conversations can sometimes be!
The 21-Day Financial Fast: Your Path to Financial Peace and Freedom by Michelle Singletary
We've all had days where we spend just a little too much on Amazon, Sephora, Target, or whatever your favorite store is. But in The 21 Day Financial Fast, Michelle Singletary combines the biblical principle of "fasting" with actionable financial steps that help you curb your unnecessary spending habits. Singletary isn't suggesting that you not shop for essentials, but she does help you take the necessary steps not to be so quick to buy everything you see on Amazon. (No judgment here. We've all done it.)
The Live Richer Challenge by Tiffanie Aliche
Some of us make great money, but our finances are a mess — mostly due to ignorance on balancing budgets or lack of time to do so. But Tiffanie Aliche — known by her nickname "The Budgetnista" — gives everyone the Live Richer Challenge with actionable steps to take over 36 days. That's all she needs, she says, to take your finances from messy to meticulous. Readers learn about both money mindsets — which is essential — as well as about important things like insurance, investing, and savings accounts.
The Frugal Feminista: Unveiling the Strong Black Woman by Kara Stephens
To put it simply: sometimes, Black women get tired. And despite the erroneous belief they need to be everything for everyone, being a "superwoman" can get tiring very quickly. "If mama ain't happy, nobody's happy" also applies to financial happiness, and Kara Stephens believes that sometimes, the key to financial freedom is to take a deep breath and engage in self-care from time to time. The Frugal Feminista shares tips for both emotional and financial wellness, making Stephens' book truly holistic in its approach.
Dump Debt & Build Bank: The Everyday Chick's Guide to Money by Faneisha Alexander
Faneisha Alexander teaches you how to "dump that debt" very quickly in her book Dump Debt & Build Bank. She shares her experience of paying off nearly $80,000 of student loan debt in less than three years!
The Wake-Up Call: Financial Inspiration Learned from 4:44 by Ash Exantus
Never let it be said that hip-hop can't teach you something. The Wake-Up Call was inspired by Jay-Z's 4:44 and uses the song's verses to take you through the steps to financial freedom. From managing money to cooperative economics, building generational wealth, to creating multiple streams of income, The Wake-Up Call feels like a Rosetta stone to one of hip-hop's greatest albums, but it executes a brilliant strategy.
Girl, Make Your Money Grow! A Sister's Guide to Protecting Your Future and Enriching Your Life by Glinda Bridgforth
If you haven't thought about retirement and investments yet, you will sooner rather than later. And Glinda Bridgforth's Girl, Make Your Money Grow! teaches you how to navigate the admittedly opaque minefield of investments and retirement funds. Focusing on simple investments rather than complex ones (you won't need a whole new education to learn about crypto or NFTs), Bridgforth takes away a lot of the mystery to create a simply magnificent book.